"I'm Christian, but I'm not homophobic." So states one of six people on a now-viral BuzzFeed video. Each completes the sentence, "I'm a Christian, but I'm not . . ." Others add: "I'm not unaccepting . . . I'm not conservative . . . I'm not ignorant," and so on.
Next they are asked, "What are you?" "I am queer," one says. "I am gay," another says. (That makes one-third of the people on the video homosexual, roughly 10 times the national average.) "I'm a feminist," two people proudly respond.
Then they are asked, "What do you want people to know about Christianity?" One responds: "We're all kind of not crazy." Another adds: "At its core it's really about love and acceptance and being a good neighbor." A third states: "Just because we prescribe [sic] to a faith that has some really terrible people in it doesn't make all of us terrible."
When asked, "What do you want people to know about Christianity?" not one person mentions Jesus. In fact, Christ is not mentioned a single time in the entire video about Christianity. It is all about the people answering the question, not the One they purportedly serve.
Mollie Hemingway notes the video's bigoted nature: "Imagine that BuzzFeed did a video like this for Muslims. 'I'm Muslim but I'm not a terrorist!' The outrage would be immediate. But somehow it's okay to castigate the vast majority of Christians whose views differ from BuzzFeed dogma."
And she points out the fact that true Christianity offends. You wouldn't know it from the video, which minimizes any differences between our faith and our culture. But Hemingway reminds us that "the history of Christianity is full of men and women whose pronouncements against sin and proclamations of salvation in Jesus led them straight to martyrdom. Our message is not necessarily a message the world loves."
She's exactly right. But while the world may not love our message, we messengers must continue to love the world. Tweet this
In Lamentations 2, the Lord says, "Your prophets have seen for you false and deceptive visions; they have not exposed your iniquity to restore your fortunes" (v. 14). Note the reason prophets are to expose the people's iniquity—as a means to their repentance and restoration by God.
When Samuel became aware of King Saul's sins, "he cried to the Lord all night" (1 Samuel 15:11) and "grieved over Saul" (v. 35). Again and again we find biblical prophets mourning the sins they are called to condemn. This is the spirit of Jesus, who wept over Jerusalem (Luke 19:41-44). It is the compassion of Paul, who had "great sorrow and unceasing anguish in my heart" for his Jewish people (Romans 9:3).
We are not to fear the rejection of those whose sins we censure. As the psalmist notes, it is God "who cuts off the spirit of princes, who is to be feared by the kings of the earth" (Psalm 76:12). We should fear God more than we fear the most powerful person on earth. Tweet this
But while we do not fear people, we fear for them. We grieve the consequences of their sins, now and eternally. And we speak the truth in love (Ephesians 4:15) as beggars helping beggars find bread.
Do you love the lost people you know enough to tell them—graciously and humbly—that they are lost?
Publication date: September 9, 2015
For more from the Denison Forum on Truth and Culture, please visit www.denisonforum.org.
Do you want to live a life in whole-hearted pursuit of loving God and others?
Read today's First15 at www.first15.org.